Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Book launch day for Patrick Weekes

Now for the big news I promised Sunday. I have taken the plunge. I have left the shackles of an 8-5 desk job to be with my beloved books. I am now a low-paid bookseller with varying hours, but I am loving every minute of it. The day is full of the excitement of books. Recommendations, news on the latest authors, what is publishing next spring, etc. It really is special to be working with something you enjoy so much on an internal level. I am very glad I took the plunge to switch career fields (despite the jitters that came from jumping out of my comfort zone, which is not a forte of mine). And I owe it all to my amazing husband for allowing me this opportunity. He is the best.

Now for the reviews for today. In honor of The Paladin Caper launching today, I bring you two reviews! From an author who largely writes video game action scenes or companion novels to the latest titles in the Bioware suite, we have a series of books that really managed to surprise me. I was really feeling the need for a Discworld level book. I found an entire series available on Netgalley to gear up for the launch today. Sold!

The Palace Job by Patrick Weekes

The first in the wacky of adventures of Loch and her crew. I am unclear if this is supposed to stop with the release of The Paladin Caper today or continue forth into an unknown length series in true Terry Pratchett style. Either way, I am satisfied with where it is going so far. 

We have a wizard, an alchemist, an acrobat, a thief (and one time scout in the military), an unicorn, a virgin for said unicorn, and a death priestess. What can't that group accomplish?

The adventure has whimsy that comes from the story not taking itself too seriously. There is plenty of action and movement through the characters, but the prose never gets bogged down in the monotonous. Most people know what a con is and how it functions. Especially with Ocean's 11-50 in the last decade breaking down the "plan" for us. Most people also know that nothing goes to plan in a good con comedy. The botches are what make the characters react so we can laugh. The Palace Job did just that for me. It lifted my spirits. Four stars only because it was not ground breaking in any sense (not every good book needs to be).

The Prophecy Con by Patrick Weekes

I shall now admit something utterly ridiculous. I could not keep these two titles straight on my Kindle!! The first novel deals largely with a prophecy and this novel starts focusing immediately on the book the crew stole in the first novel-not a prophecy. I really kept thinking my copies had gotten switched somehow. Maybe that tainted my reading experience a little. Or maybe it was trying to read three con capers in three days (I failed and have only completed the first two).

Whatever it was, I really lost touch with this story a couple of times. The bright (and redeeming) side is it always managed to pull me back in to read more.

No surprises, no plot twists. All very formulaic and wonderful for its continuity. Not something I will often say about the books I read (actually it is a key reason for my disdain of the mystery genre). Discworld doesn't really have much difference in its storylines, but they are brilliant. It is the characters and the comedic relief they bring to our lives that make them worth reading. This series is shaping up to be exactly that same way. Their blunders and consistent inability to have a plan go off without a hitch just make the "real" world suck just a little bit less. 3 1/2 stars for this follow up Rogues of the Republic novel.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Cover Reveal Sunday!

While some of these may be old news to many, I apologize. Halloween is approaching and it is my favorite holiday. I easily get sidetracked at this time of year in all things pumpkin and costume-y. I also very brilliant news I look forward to sharing next week! So please check back with me then and accept my profuse apologies for being absent. It will be getting more frequent in the future.

The first of my cover releases that I am excited for in the new year belongs to Rod Duncan with the third in his Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire series releasing in February. The Custodian of Marvels is coming off of a rocky second book for me, but I am just excited more to see if we are able to recapture the brilliance of The Bulletcatcher's Daugther.


The second cover reveal comes from Kevin Hoffman with the release of his second book in the Sigilord Chronicles. The unfortunate part with this one however comes from a lack of a release date still. I'm sure it will be in the new year, but it may be considerably into the new year with no clues on publication on his page yet. Hopefully the lack of posts means he is buried deep in some corner working hard on The Blood Sigil.

The Blood Sigil

My third cover reveal is possibly my complete favorite of them. I was already super amped for Traveler (number 2 in the Seeker series) coming January 12, 2016 from Arwen Elys Dayton. But now I present you with the cover for the short story that we will receive in between!! The Young Dread will be available November 12th.

Okay, okay, enough cover reveals for now. Check back with me next week for some BIG reviews and ever Bigger news.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Book tour for ARROWS OF DARKNESS and a free copy!!

It is the last day for the book tour of Arrows of Darkness by BI Woolet. You have already read my interview with the duo authors, but I have some extra goodies to get you excited for the latest release-including a copy of both Arrows of Darkness and The Hunter, The Bear and the Seventh Sister*. The contest will end on October 15th. Get scoring those points below for your chance at this great series!

Follow along Jackson's journey with this great map of the land of Arcas.

How about an article from the authors on their fantastic beasts?
Sea Monsters and the Bear Next Door
By B. I. Woolet

“Man’s destruction and bloodshed now appeared trivial and small next to these uncontrollable beasts of nature.” – Arrows of Darkness

From nasty orcs and a greedy dragon in Middle Earth to fluting fauns and a brave mouse in Narnia, fantasy worlds are full of interesting creatures! We love that the World of Arcas is also bursting with fascinating, strange, and terrifying creatures.

In The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister, its immediately evident that Jackson has entered another realm when the white-winged Cygnus grabs him mid-air in the bright triune sunlight and safely lands him next to the little cabin in Starling Forest. After escaping the talons of a freakishly large black raven, Jackson then meets Otava. He’s a furry, talking brown bear inspired by Usra Major (the Great Bear in the night sky) and named from the Finnish word for the constellation. Though Otava is powerfully strong and well-armed with an arsenal of weapons, he’s also nervously paranoid, doesn’t like change, and loves cooking even more than his medieval artillery. Since the Big Dipper is also part of his constellation, Otava’s favorite soup dipper likes to enter the story often as a quirky astronomy joke on the side.  He’s our lovable, loyal, but not-so-huggable big bear friend.

In Arrows of Darkness, we get to enjoy the talking bear-next-door again, but massive sea monsters dive into the story to shake things up. Cetus is the most famous and mystical watery monster in the Kingdom of Altair. Bridled and ridden by a duo of strange river nymphs, this translucent, whale-like creature randomly bursts through the surface and capsizes anyone in its way. His haphazard, destructive tendencies frighten most in Arcas from ever braving the water.

While Cetus destroys like a raging bull, our other sea monster calculates its attack with lust for flesh and pleasure. Minaruja is a titan terror of the Ligeian Sea. This giant water snake (from the Hydra constellation) strikes without warning and injects venom into its prey. One seamen describes the day that the dreadful villain Sephdar got attacked by Minaruja and barely escaped alive: “Minaruja’s serpent head shook him back and forth and back and forth like a rabid dog shaking a helpless rabbit […] To thee ruins he stumbled with a black hole in his middle and a black poison ever pumping through his veins.” 

So, if you like mystical, larger-than-life monsters and talking bears, stick around because the World of Arcas has only begun to unleash the stellar creatures within! 
Visit any of these great links for book trailers and exciting information about the World of Arcas series.

Visit any of the sites below for more information and news about the World of Arcas, great book trailers, and where to get your copy of the books.

Thanks for stopping by my leg of the Arrows of Darkness tour by Xpresso Books.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Release Day Interview with B.I. Woolet

I cannot believe it is already October. Wow. I don't know where my summer went! (Oh yeah--it went to reading some amazing books. Here is to the continuation of good reading.) The leaves are in full force changing to beautiful reds and oranges. My yard is surrounded by a gentle fire. But my least favorite of their activities is actually falling all over my yard. The graveyard of dead leaves just means time to get to raking all over again. Cool mornings and evenings means it is also time to pull out the scarves and pumpkin-spiced drinks, so every dark cloud has its silver lining.

Today is the release of the second book from World of Arcas authors B.I. Woolet. To celebrate this awesome occasion I did an interview with them again. You may remember the duo from their previous interview on my blog as well as a review of The Hunter, The Bear, and The Seventh Sister. We join Jackson again on his adventures in Arrows of Darkness.

A) In our last interview you talked about the joys of having a hobby together. As a partnership of authors, how do you divide up the writing tasks? What parts are inspired by whom?

BI) We usually brainstorm through the overarching plotline together and haggle over the details as we go. Some times, one of us gets inspired about a scene and just starts writing. When a new section is first scripted, the other reads it and either approves or gives a “yuck” face, and thus editing begins! I (Ila) spend the most time physically writing and editing, whereas Benji splits up his time between writing a little, dreaming up crazy creatures and scenarios, researching astronomy stuff, and managing the business side of things.

In Arrows of Darkness, Benji became inspired with the idea to create a Lagoon. He saw a picture of the Lagoon Nebula while researching and thought our characters most definitely needed to get lost in it! I had no clue what he was imagining, so he just took over the keyboard and started writing. He put down one page to cast the vision, and I finished it by making each character’s  nightmares come to life over 3 chapters of wet, foggy craziness.  So, to put it simply, Benji’s more into big ideas and driving action, while I’m more into the literary details of manipulating words and character interactions.

A) With your second book releasing October 2nd, do you feel like seasoned pros in the publishing business? Or are there still things to be learned?

BI) Oh, goodness, no! We still feel like amateurs in the publishing world, though we are getting a little more comfortable being called “authors” than we used to be. We’ve definitely learned a lot about finding our audience, print formatting, and marketing. Hopefully, we will continue to tweak, change, and grow with each book.

A) Are you stopping at a trilogy or are you going for a series?

BI) We aren’t completely sure how long the World of Arcas series will go. We have exciting ideas of stories that would awaken the heroes and wars from ages past, but we also could end up extending Jackson’s story beyond the trilogy arc. We have some other book ideas that we have been thinking about outside of fantasy, but we are definitely going to finish Jackson’s escapades before we tackle any new realms! Nevertheless, the star-studded world of Arcas will probably always be beckoning us back for just one more adventure…

Check back next week as I will have an awesome giveaway for copies of both books from the World of Arcas and a review for the book!!